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The Dead Snag

Utah > Wasatch Range > Big Cottonwood Canyon

Description

With a short approach, long routes, and good rock this is a great area for beginning trad climbers, or a great place to just get out and cruise on a lazy day.

Getting There

Driving up Big Cottonwood Canyon you will come to the Storm Mountain Picnic Area (about 2.8 miles up canyon). Parking is up to your personal preference, along the road, a pullout a bit further, the picnic area itself. Either way, the formation is across the road from the Storm Mountain Picnic Area (on the south side of the canyon.) Locate the Storm Mountain Trail, follow the trail southward, after 5 minutes of walking (approx.)you will see the Dead Snag crag to the west, drop down to the right, cross the creek and make your way to the base. Total approach time is about 15 minutes tops.

Alternately, Park on the right across from Storm Mountain Picnic Area. Walk back down the canyon 100 yards or so until you pass a rocky gully/stream on your left (there is a culvert under the road). Just past the stream, scramble up the steep rock steps into the woods to a trail. Follow the trail for about 10 minutes (ignore side trails) until you reach the cliff base. Parallel the cliff (going climbers left/uphill) past a small clearing with signs of camp fires until you get to the base of the arete where Sterots' Ridge begins.

Routes from Left to Right

5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 2
Gypsy Girl
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 11
R&B
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 5
Rock!
Trad
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 3
Funk
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 4
Double Bock
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 16
Dead Snag Direttissima
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 3
Tiger's Den
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 115
East Dihedrals
Trad 3 pitches
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 15
Die Another Day
Trad
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 100
Jig's Up
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 504
Steorts' Ridge
Trad 3 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 44
North Dihedrals
Trad 3 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 1
Alor 1
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 4
Time Going By
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 22
Ad Lib
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 42
Social Engineering
Trad
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 49
Call Me Slim
Trad
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 30
Force of Nature
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gypsy Girl
 2
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
R&B
 11
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Rock!
 5
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Funk
 3
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Double Bock
 4
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
Dead Snag Direttissima
 16
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Tiger's Den
 3
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
East Dihedrals
 115
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Die Another Day
 15
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Jig's Up
 100
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Steorts' Ridge
 504
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
North Dihedrals
 44
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 3 pitches
Alor 1
 1
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Time Going By
 4
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Ad Lib
 22
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Social Engineering
 42
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Call Me Slim
 49
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Force of Nature
 30
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Force of Nature
[Hide Photo] Force of Nature
Dead snag from the road above the storm mountain parking area
[Hide Photo] Dead snag from the road above the storm mountain parking area
The Dead Snag from Liberator Ridge.
[Hide Photo] The Dead Snag from Liberator Ridge.
High on Social Engineering
[Hide Photo] High on Social Engineering
Family fun day on Steorts! Start of the 2nd pitch.
[Hide Photo] Family fun day on Steorts! Start of the 2nd pitch.
Dead snag from the road above the storm mountain parking area
[Hide Photo] Dead snag from the road above the storm mountain parking area
This shows the top of Call Me Slim and Force of Nature. Just guide you that way.
[Hide Photo] This shows the top of Call Me Slim and Force of Nature. Just guide you that way.
The Dead Snag
[Hide Photo] The Dead Snag
Steort's Ridge is on the arete.  East Dihedrals is to the left, North Dihedrals is to the right.
[Hide Photo] Steort's Ridge is on the arete. East Dihedrals is to the left, North Dihedrals is to the right.
Dead Snag w/o lines
[Hide Photo] Dead Snag w/o lines
The Dead Snag cliff from the trail across the road from Storm Mountain.
[Hide Photo] The Dead Snag cliff from the trail across the road from Storm Mountain.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Ryan Brough
Orem, UT
[Hide Comment] Just a sampling of history from Gottman's guide from 1979:
"The Alpenbock Club was active in this area which they called the Astronaut Arete." Mar 21, 2007
Josh C
Somewhere out West
[Hide Comment] The rock type here takes a little while to get used to if you've never climbed on it before. Jul 4, 2011
[Hide Comment] Found a piece of anchoring equipment yesterday at the top rap station. ID it and it's yours. Jul 2, 2012
[Hide Comment] What time of day to those North Facing routes go into summer shade? Jul 30, 2015
ddriver
SLC
[Hide Comment] Will depend on the month, but in July the leader will get sun directly in the face by 12:30 or 1, making visibility problematic. By 3 or so the base (but not the routes) starts to come back into shade and the conditions improve enough to go for it. Jul 30, 2015
Todd Green
SLC, UT
[Hide Comment] Alternative (IMO easier) directions for getting there if you are used to climbing at the Challenge Buttress (if not, read its description). Park in the pull out for the Challenge Buttress. Cross the road and follow the trail just to the right of the gulch. Don't take the right fork (which goes to Challenge), but instead follow straight up the trail with the buttress just on your right side. 10 minutes tops (more like 5 if you are in any sort of shape) and you'll be at the base of Steort's. I'm not sure why the description talks about parking up at Storm Mountain which is a bit further up canyon and some longer convoluted 15 minute hike. This way is dead simple (no pun intended.) Sep 13, 2015
[Hide Comment] Feels like the progression for BCC trad is to do the classic .6 and .7's. Then do everything at Bumble Bee for the .8 and .9 experience. Then come back here to Dead Snag and do the .9's and .10's. Then go to Psychobabble and freak out a little bit. Then come back here for the .11a. Oct 2, 2015
MikeyHeinz
SLC, UT
[Hide Comment] Just a friendly reminder to everyone climbing in this area, or anywhere around SLC for that matter, please leave your valuables locked in your car or take them up with you on the climb. My girlfriend had her iPhone stolen out of her backpack at the base of Steorts' Ridge on Saturday, presumably from a guy who was alone and wandering around saying he was looking for some shoes he left at the base. This area is easily accessible from the road, and it seems like theft is becoming more and more of an issue in all of the canyons as people see that climbers leave items at the base of climbs unattended. Oct 31, 2016